Friday 27 April 2012

Today's Review: The Avengers

Yes, I know it's called Marvel's Avengers Assemble over here, but I don't like that name, so The Avengers it is. But yes, this is what we've been waiting for. The culmination of five movies released since 2008, The Avengers a massively ambitious project to transfer the Marvel Universe of the comics to the big screen.

So here we have The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Black Widow and newcomer Hawkeye, all brought together under the direction of Nick Fury. The movie starts off after the conclusion of each characters' separate stories, which did a pretty good job in themselves of establishing the individual characters and bringing them into the company of S.H.I.E.L.D. So there's none of that dull dragged out characterisation going on during The Avengers.

We do get something similar though. Since these characters are completely separate and have been in different situations with different enemies, there are obviously going to be some kinks to work out when they're brought together for the first time. Tony Stark's ego clashes with Steve Roger's courage and patriotism, Tony Stark's ego clashes with Thor's godlike powers... Yeah, let's just say Tony Stark isn't exactly a team player at first. But with an impending war from an unknown enemy on the horizon, our heroes eventually have to learn to play nice.

On that note, all the stars in this movie do a fantastic job of carrying their personas over into this new situation. All their characteristic (good or bad) are used to full effect to enhance the relationships building throughout the whole team, with some learning some important lessons about teamwork. We also get to see Nick Fury finally break out of his advisory role in the shadows and start to kick some ass himself. Satisfying.

So yes, there is a fair amount of character building in the first half of the movie, but it isn't anywhere near as dull as it can be when looking at one hero. Since everyone has their own kind of super power, the characters often resort to violence when they quarrel, and the results are some awesome pairings with damaging and sometimes hilarious results. The quarrels are perfectly paced alongside progression of the plot, and although towards the end I was worrying that they would be taking time away from the impending final battle, the end result did not disappoint.

This whole movie is just awesome. The effects are wonderful, the pacing is great, the cinematography is at times utterly amazing, especially at certain points during the final battle where we see all of The Avengers in action. Sent chills through my spine it did. Joss Whedon has performed a miracle, taking several heroes from different franchises and jamming them all into a well directed movie with a tight script. I wasn't sure if it could be done, but my excitement was well justified. This is the mother of all superhero movies, and hopefully this is just a taste of things to come. So come on Fox, and Sony, get the X-Men and Spiderman in on this, you know how awesome that could be.

My rating: 5/5

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